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District 303 makes schools wish list

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles School District 303 community said it wants foreign language at the elementary and middle schools, all-day kindergarten offered districtwide without tuition and, among other programming, an enhanced one-on-one computing experience for students.

But each want, which comes out of the Summit 303, comes with a price.

District staff outlined these costs at the final summit meeting Tuesday night at the Kane County Fairgrounds.

For example, providing all-day kindergarten without charging tuition would cost an estimated $1.3 million per year, staff said.

Brad Cauffman, the chief financial officer, provided an overview of the district’s finances, explaining it is not in the position to add or expand programming without some sort of financial trade-off.

Trade-offs could be bigger class sizes, raising taxes or cuts to other programs or services, all decisions of the school board.

With that information, summit participants voted on implementation options for the suggested changes to all-day kindergarten, elementary school foreign language, middle school foreign language, the middle school Explore program and technology. They also had the choice to vote for the status quo in each category.

The votes will help shape the recommendations for the school board.

The board is expected to consider two suggestions that do not have a financial impact: the elimination of class rank and the creation of a senior experience to better help seniors in their transition to post-high school life, district spokesman Jim Blaney said.

Visit www.d303.org for more information about Summit 303.

Estimated yearly costs of implementation

• All-day kindergarten without tuition, $1,342,000.

• Elementary foreign language, if implemented at once, $1,206,000.

• Elementary foreign language, phased-in approach, $120,600.

• Middle school foreign language if it replaces second block of language arts, $0.

• Middle school foreign language if schools move to nine period day; cost unknown.

• Reinstate nine-week rotation for middle school Explore, $603,000.

• Explore with a nine period day; cost unknown.

• District-wide one-on-one technology, $10.5 million to $13 million.

• Phased-in technology, high school only, $5 million.

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